Today marks 6 months since I quit eating meat and dairy. February 9th was the last day I ate meat intentionally (one known slipup since).

It hasn’t been super easy, but honestly, it hasn’t been all that hard either. I expected that I might make it a few months and then I’d give up and go back to my old diet, but 6 months in, I can honestly say I don’t have any plans of changing back.

Since I went vegan I’m down ~16lbs, I was down more, but have crept back up over the past month without much exercise. I am hoping to get my weight loss back in gear this week as I am going to get back out on the bike, even if it is raining (or maybe I’ll setup the trainer again?). My biggest vice is I started allowing myself to drink soda again, I need to cut that back out.

I have cheated here or there, mainly bread or something that has egg, or perhaps milk, in it, but only a couple of times over 6 months. I definitely go out of my way to avoid dairy/egg based products. The one time I ate meat, was an accident. We had made tacos, both meat, and plant based. When I went to have left overs the next day, I couldn’t tell the containers apart and ate the wrong one. I definitely could feel it in my gut for a few days.

The only real thing I haven’t avoided as a vegan is honey. I don’t have a problem eating honey, and unless something changes, I will not try to avoid it.

If you’re thinking about trying to change your diet, give it a try! I eat a lot better than I did for the first 42 years of my life, have far more flavor and variety in my diet, and am as healthy as I’ve ever been. I don’t feel sick and bloated after eating, I don’t get sluggish. All around I just feel better.

Living here in Wildwood, MO we have had access to some awesome events over the past few years. In August 2017 the total eclipse passed right over our city with some of the longest times available in the country. This week we’re fortunate enough to be able to see the Comet Neowise that was discovered back in March and recently travelled near the Sun and became (somewhat) visible to the naked eye due to that pass.

imageThe DNN project keeps chugging along and the open source community has put together a new release 9.6.0 that came out on April 29th, 2020.

Version 9.6.0 contains primarily bug fixes, with the potential for some breaking changes (read below) and a few enhancements to things that just make sense and a couple of new features.

I have a hunch, but no official word, that this release also contains some needed security fixes, so you might want to look at upgrading sooner rather than later, and keeping an eye out for any DNN related security bulletins.

Breaking Changes:

If you have any custom modules that you developed, or perhaps purchased from a third party, that rely on the Telerik controls that used to ship with DNN, you’ll want to be sure to give this upgrade a whirl in a test environment before you perform it in production. There are some changes to remove the bindings for Telerik as those controls have been deprecated for quite some time. Two weeks ago I threw together a (longer than expected) video on how I went through and upgraded my development environment to a release candidate version of DNN and show you how I tested some of my open source modules against the RC to ensure that I didn’t need to make additional changes to the modules before the 9.6.0 release.

You can view that video here:

The release contains 49 Pull Requests from 19 different contributors to the open source project. You can find the full list of those on the 9.6.0 release page on GitHub.

Some of the bug fix highlights include:

  • Fixes to the site settings page width
  • Fix where site settings would sometimes load the wrong site
  • Fix for multiple instances of an MVC module on a page not working

Some New Features include:

  • Simple web farm caching provider for cloud added
  • UI for managing site groups
  • Export Portal functionality revived!

Some of the Enhancements include:

  • Core messaging performance improvements
  • Fixes for pages with longer names and the Pages menu

Next Steps:

Before you do anything back up your site, the files, and the database. You should be doing that pretty regularly anyways but definitely before you do an upgrade.

Upgrade your site! But how? Be sure to read our guide on Upgrading DNN and watch our latest upgrade video to see it in action.

Last fall I discovered that there are Facebook groups dedicated to Jack Daniel’s. I started following The Jack Cave, with Sue Scheel Clark. One a post there one day she mentioned the Sunshine State Squires and Collectors Facebook Group out of Florida, and that they were putting together some special edition bottles, and had previously done a few bottles as well. The first bottle that I learned about is one I hope to write about in the next week or two, as I don’t have it yet, but today I received my first bottle from the group.


This bottle was put together for the 2020 Daytona Beach Bike Week. The bottle is a single barrel selection chosen by the group, and contains a number of very cool things! The first, most noticeable item is the custom sleeve, with a photoshopped picture combining Easy Rider and the ocean.

It also contains a hang tag reading “Daytona Beach Bike Week 2020”.

It contains a sticker, a coaster, and a custom coin, along with an etched bottle.

The front of the coin reads the same as the logo on the sleeve:

Daytona Beach, Florida

79th Bike Week

World’s Largest Motorcycle Event


The etched bottle reads the same as the coaster, and the back of the coin:

Daytona Beach Bike Week

Ride Responsibly

Bottles & Throttles Don’t Mix


I ended up ordering two of these bottles, and 3 extra sleeves. As I’ve gotten into the various Facebook groups I’ve seen these custom bottles and sleeves that have “scenes”, and when you have multiple boxes next to each other you can see the full scene, you can see this in the photos below as I have a shot of one of the sleeves fully spread out.

I look forward to partaking in future bottle sales that these groups do!

Bottled: March 10, 2020
Barrel Number: 20-01418
Rick No.: L-17
Release: March 2020
Proof: 94
Size: 750ml
Price: $75/bottle

On February 10th, 2020 I flipped my diet 180 degrees and switched to being vegan. The goal was two fold at the time, 1) lowering my blood pressure, and 2) lowering my weight.

Somehow it has taken me way too long to add a doorbell camera to our home automation tools. Last week I decided it was time to do that, and add a few couple more cameras to the system. This post will cover the door bell setup, and a future post will add the other cameras as I haven’t installed those on the house yet.

A little background, our home automation solution here is built on a few different technologies, the backbone of my system is Insteon based, for lights doors and other triggered items, but I also have Google Home devices, Nest thermostats. I’m able to easily trigger a variety of lights in my house by voice, simply saying “Hey Google, turn on X light”.

I also have a couple of Foscam cameras powered by POE (power over ethernet) that I have hooked up as well. They are not connected to the Insteon system, but I think technically could be. For DVR I have a blue iris system running that connects to both cameras and records any triggered events, and also takes a specific photo every hour for my @Gardentoc bot on Twitter.

One camera was for the back yard, specifically taking photos/video of the garden, and one currently sees SOME of the front yard, but doesn’t have a great view of the front door visitors. Both cameras are older tech, while they say they are 1080p, the quality leaves a bit to be desired.

For a front door camera I wanted to get something that had the following qualities

  • Good quality
  • Monitorable
  • Notifications
  • Harder to hack

I think most solutions can provide the first 3 options, but my concern with “cheap” cameras is that they aren’t necessarily supported and potentially open to hacks, more so than hopefully some of the better supported, higher dollar cameras. With that in mind it came down to the Ring and Nest camera line up. I wasn’t sure which one to choose, but because I already had Nest devices, and Google Home devices in the house, I decided that the Shop Nest Products at - Nest Hello camera would be the way to go.

I was able to easily setup that camera in our house, with a quick install. What I ended up finding out during my install though was that my Nest account, was not tied to my Google account, where all my Google Home devices were. So I ended up setting up the camera twice, and setting up the Nest devices again, by removing them from the Nest account, and adding them back to my Google account.

From there I was able to add the Nest Hello to my Blue Iris system fairly easily. This does require that you make the camera public, and then add the public Url into Blue Iris, once I did that things were up and running simply.

For now I have the Nest Hello notifications enabled, I might end up not paying for the Nest subscription, we’ll see. With Blue Iris I think I can ultimately setup some notifications, but we’ll see if it is easy, or worth just paying for the Nest subscription. I’ll post some future updates on the quality of the camera after we have it running for a while. As of now, Nest seems to notify us quite often of “people” outside, especially at night, when there is no one there.

Shop Nest Products at

A quick blog post here, to hopefully help the next person who runs into this problem. While trying to run my first Meadow F7 application with Windows 10 and Visual Studio 2019, every time I would go to DEPLOY the app, the Meadow would disconnect and the app would fail to deploy. The error would ultimately come back with Couldn't initialize serial port
It has been almost two and a half months since I posted about leaving ClubReady, my employer for the prior seven years. In that time a lot has changed. I’ve gone 100% vegan, lost a bit of weight and lowered my blood pressure to a very healthy level, and held it there. I wonder how much of that was diet, and how much of that was leaving my role ;) (It was diet, my BP was still high after leaving CR). In the 2.5 months I’ve had a lot of time to spend with my family, a little time to spend catching up with friends and former coworkers, and a little time to try to figure out what comes next. My last day at CR I actually had a phone interview scheduled with a local St. Louis company. That interview led to a few more calls, all conducted remotely, and ultimately led to a job offer back mid/late February.

The other day we were talking about the coronavirus (covid19) pandemic and the rush on toilet paper at most stores in the United States. Then the topic of Bidets came up. If you're looking for a bidet, to remove your dependancy on toilet paper, be sure to check out some of the bidet options on Amazon

A bidet is a great way to "feel fresh" and clean your netherregion after using the restroom.

If you really want to get fancy, look for a Heated Bidet (hot water). No need to "wake" yourself up with a bold shot to the rear end if you can have some nice warm water there instead! 

So over the years I’ve uploaded ALL of my YouTube content to the same channel, so there is a mix of DNN Training videos, Racing videos, family videos, and even a refrigerator repair video. I’ve never had anyone actually complain about the mix of content, but I have always thought that the Racing and family videos kind of get in the way, as most of the views on my channel are for the tutorial type videos.

So it’s been another two weeks since my last post on my vegan life change, so I figured it would be a good time to follow up on progress, struggles, and plans.
Somehow, during two of my recent DotNetNuke upgrades, from 9.4.1 and 9.4.4 to 9.5, I started to experience some weird problems. The one I spent a few hours on this evening was that the Module Actions menu (module settings, export content, import content, help, print, develop, delete, refresh) was simply missing.
Chris Hammond

Chris Hammond is a father, husband, leader, developer, photographer and car guy. Chris has long specialized in ASP.NET and DotNetNuke (DNN) development, so you will find a variety of posts relating to those topics. For more information check out the about Chris Hammond page.

If you are looking for DotNetNuke consulting please visit my business website at

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